Disclaimer! If you are someone who has not seen Avengers: Endgame stop reading this review! Instead check out my spoiler free review linked right here. If you are still here understand that below is a review pulling specific plot points and moments from the film. You have been warned, let the spoiler filled review begin!
Avengers: Endgame is something I have never seen before on the big screen. Any expectation I had, it not only met, it leapfrogged over it and gave me more than I could have possibly thought. The amount of moments this film has is so large it’s hard to say which was my favorite or what made me feel the emotions more. It not only told a powerful story about overcoming failure but gave closure to characters that we have been watching for up to a decade. I’ve grown into an adult as this story has been playing out and what it gave me was so much more attachment to the characters, to the moments getting paid off, this is what TV shows usually get to do in a season finale, but movies? I have never experienced this at a movie theater. It boggles my mind and fills me with joy that Endgame exists, that the Marvel Cinematic Universe pulled it off and stuck a landing like those gold medalist gymnast in the Olympics. This is a spoiler review though so let’s dig into this once in a lifetime movie event.
As I said from the start what I love about this movie is how it tackled two huge things, the story of overcoming failures, and the personal journeys of all our main Avengers heroes. The plot opens with a 15 minute epilogue of Avengers: Infinity War. Thanos has snapped away half of all life in the Universe. Half our heroes, half of humanity, half of aliens from other worlds, everything. The heroes have lost, or have they? In this short post ending of the previous film the team of original Avengers plus a couple of tagalongs, blast off to find Thanos, kill him, and get the stones back. Reversing the whole damn last movie. Not only to they find him very quickly, they actually kill Thanos! With ease! Thor chops Thanos’s arm and head off! It’s crazy, but before the team arrived Thanos destroyed the stones. He didn’t need to win, he just needed to make sure they lost. And that’s what happened. Our heroes actually lost, completely. Where do we go from here?
Five. Years. Later. That slow reveal of the time jump. One word at a time, it blew my mind, the story possibilities, what did this mean for everyone? I was ready for a real character journey, and the movie doesn’t disappoint! Steve Rogers, and Natasha, they can’t move on. They keep themselves busy but they refuse to believe it’s over. Thor, believing he was the ultimate failure, lets himself go physically and mentally to drink. Bruce Banner, betters himself and combines his mind with the Hulk’s strength. Poor Clint Barton, who lost his whole family to the snap, became a murdering assassin. And Tony Stark out of all of them, moved on. He had a daughter with his wife Pepper Potts. Tony the one who could never let go found something more important. He found a future that allowed him to move past the loss. Seeing these different takes on everyone was great. Each of them processed the failure of saving the world differently and it shows just how human each of them are. It’s from the opportunity of time travel that the heroes have a chance to right the wrongs that have weighed down on them for five long years, and that is what sets the stage for a blast into MCU movies past.
This is a good moment to shift gears as it’s during the Ant-Man coined “Time Heist” that the movie really leans into giving back to the fans while still keeping true to the story at large. This middle third of the movie is insane when it comes to these callbacks. Captain America in an elevator eerily the same as in Winter Soldier, seeing the aftermath of Avengers from the viewpoint of Iron Man and Ant-Man commenting on the ridiculousness of the Hydra agents in disguise as Shield Agents. It’s not just poking fun at previous movies, it builds on them in very great ways.
A broken Thor has a moment with his dead mother who parts with him powerful wisdom to stop trying to be what he thinks he needs to be and just his best self. Hawkeye has to watch Natasha give up her life for him to rest on the moment, that just because he has lost his way he can get it back if nothing less than in her memory. Tony Stark gets to have a chance to speak to his father as a dad himself. He gets to have a moment to tell his father in a secret way that Howard Stark has a grandchild. While on the reverse Cap has to look from behind a window of the love of his life, still not getting his chance to be with her. After watching the movie a second time the foreshadowing of these two characters is extremely clear. Tony was getting closure and motivation, and Steve was reminded of what matters most in his world.
By the time our heroes come back with the stolen through time Infinity Stones, we have had great character building, amazing fan service moments, and great humor blended into this amazing drink that you won’t soon forget. Then Hulk snaps the dusted back into existence and Thanos wrecks the Avengers HQ, setting the stage for the most insane action set piece I have seen in a superhero movie. Captain America wielding Mjolnir! Cap, on your left! Avengers Assemble! Female heroine shot! There are just so many moments in this battle that it’s impossible to label them all, but I sure want to. Yet, it’s in the end where we get the ultimate ELEVEN YEAR payoff. Thanos proclaims “I am inevitable” Tony responds. “I. Am. Iron Man.” Snapping away Thanos and his entire army. Such an amazing call back and ending with Tony sacrificing himself to save the MCU that he started! It is chilling and beautiful, and you think, that’s a perfect no way top moment, but then the closing scene makes a run for this moment’s money! Captain America went back into the past and finally after over a hundred years, he got his dance with his one gal. God. Damn. The entire story team behind his movie are masters, and this movie will forever be their masterpiece.
This spoiler review was so hard to write because there are so many amazing moments. I miss so much that I loved! Here’s some more things that I liked reallllly fast!
Professor Hulk Selfie!
Grizzled Cap vs Boy Scout Cap!
Hulk No Like Stairs!
I could say so much more! But let me just close this rambling praise to this. Avengers: Endgame could have been just an good end to so much storytelling, and instead we got what will likely go down as the best conclusion to an on-screen superhero universe ever. Congratulations Marvel, you pulled it off.